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Album Review

While they have taken a different approach with each album, Opeth has a very distinct and instantly recognizable sound: somber, mysterious, and very serious. Their style falls at a meeting point between melodic Swedish death metal and '70s progressive rock, though without any of the technical busyness that description might imply. Morningrise is, as far as the metal scale goes, possibly their least heavy album; it also contains their longest songs — just five of them, ranging in length from ten to 20 minutes. The tracks all take their time developing, shifting back and forth from full-on metal sections (marked by distorted dual guitar riffs and growling vocals) to calm, acoustic guitar-based passages with more softly sung vocals. These shifts happen much like scenes changes in a movie, as there is very little repetition within the songs, and there are sometimes distinct pauses separating one section from the next. In fact, given the strongly narrative lyrics (which primarily revolve around the subject of a lost lover), the tracks here could best be described as miniature audio movies. This is a very painstakingly put-together album, and listeners will have to have some patience in order to mentally piece it all together. Some will be turned off by the long songs and the cold, gray atmosphere the album gives off, but for those who are on this band's wavelength and willing to show some patience, this album will repay many, many repeat listens.


Formed: 1990 in Stockholm, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Brought together in Stockholm by guitarists Peter Lindgren and Mikael Åkerfeldt in 1990, Opeth added progressive influences and acoustic instrumentation to their brand of Swedish death metal. As the group progressed, it was very common for an Opeth live set to fly in several different musical directions -- and an average song lasted no less than ten minutes. Impressed by their originality, Candlelight Records released their debut full-length in 1995, which was titled Orchid, and featured a rhythm...
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Morningrise, Opeth
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